19 April 2024
Entertainment Music

Evaluate: Jonathan Tetelman Arrives on the Met in ‘La Rondine’

The revival of Nicolas Joël’s Artwork Deco-inspired manufacturing of Puccini’s “La Rondine” on the Metropolitan Opera highlights a top quality that Puccini will not be essentially identified for: restraint.

In his headline-making debut, the Chilean-born American singer Jonathan Tetelman, who has a Deutsche Grammophon recording contract and the potential to turn into the home’s subsequent main Italian-opera tenor, didn’t essentially arrive with a splash.

His efficiency had the cautious craft of an Olympic diver who breaks the water’s floor with out producing ripples. His second task this month is one other Puccini work, “Madama Butterfly,” and in a present of religion from the corporate, he’ll star in high-definition simulcasts of each operas (“La Rondine” on April 20 and “Madama Butterfly” on Could 11).

Tall and willowy, Tetelman sang in a efficiency of “La Rondine” on Tuesday, his third present within the run, with a hyper-focused, brightly resonant voice that conveyed the sunny ping of an Italianate instrument. As Ruggero, he traced fastidious strains by way of the complete size of Puccini’s lavish melodies, holding them taut earlier than releasing them, and artfully negotiated his registers.

His strategy yields stunning ends in recordings, balancing ardor and sensitivity in a voice of spectacular dimension, however in a reside setting, it feels overly managed. There’s a lean high quality to his timbre that renders climaxes loud somewhat than thrilling. His considerably studied efficiency affirms the admirable seriousness with which he approaches operatic artwork, and it will likely be thrilling to listen to him as soon as he figures out the best way to conceal the artifice required to make it.

“La Rondine” was initially conceived as an operetta, and it retains the trimmings of 1, with waltzes, toasts, snatches of spoken dialogue and a maid-in-disguise. Puccini’s luxurious musical DNA is so dominant, although, that it by no means fails to sound like his operas. In some methods, it’s a poor man’s — or extra exactly, a wealthy man’s — “La Bohème.” Set in Paris, with two {couples} (one critical, the opposite comical), “La Rondine” trades the sooner opera’s tear-jerking story of younger love troubled by poverty for considered one of younger love troubled by wealth.

Magda, the stored girl, will be portrayed as a jaded demimondaine, a chic sophisticate or a constrained younger lover craving to interrupt free. On the Met, the soprano Angel Blue didn’t select any of these; she was a likable presence that examined the dramatic limits of pleasantness. Together with her heat smile, diffuse center register and tremulous phrase endings, she was a bashful heroine. Even at her finest, when she catapulted her voice into the auditorium for pealing excessive notes, she appeared to take action reluctantly.

Within the pit, the conductor Speranza Scappucci, who made her Met debut in 2022 with a dynamic “Rigoletto,” luxuriated in Puccini’s rating. She tends to faithfully render a composer’s type, however with out constantly connecting it to the motion. With “La Rondine,” she discovered fleeting moments of perfumed languor and painted in broad, daring colours. At sluggish tempos, the orchestra may flip soupy and directionless; at quick ones, it danced briskly however gracelessly.

Emily Pogorelc (Lisette) and Bekhzod Davronov (Prunier), each making Met debuts, have been an endearing odd couple. Pogorelc’s assertive maid had a brightly reducing sound and a spunky standpoint, and Davronov’s poet wore his self-indulgence with the sunshine contact of somebody who doesn’t really feel the necessity to strive onerous at something. Alfred Walker, as Magda’s patron, Rambaldo, was dignified and unbothered within the face of her caprice.

In Act III, Blue and Tetelman started to beat the restraint that straitjacketed their performances, permitting Magda’s and Ruggero’s heightened emotions to paint their voices. Blue’s guilt-stricken despair and Tetelman’s dusky hopes instantly flushed the cheeks of their characters, bringing them to life simply as their love affair was coming to an finish.

La Rondine

By April 20 on the Metropolitan Opera, Manhattan; metopera.org.